Thursday, July 15, 2010

Homemade Italian Sausage--So Easy!

I've been using my sausage machine with wanton abandon lately, making breakfast sausage and now Italian sausage.  It's amazingly simple, but a little time-consuming because you do have to cut up the pork into small cubes to prepare it for the sausage machine.

The result is amazingly tender and flavorful sausage with just a few seasonings and fennel seeds.  Here's the recipe:

Italian Sausage

2 pounds of boneless pork butt, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 

Toast fennel seeds in pan on stove for about 3 minutes until fragrant and slightly browned.  Remove from pan and place on dish to cool.  Then pulverize them in a mortar and pestle or grind them in a spice grinder.  Combine the fennel seeds in a medium bowl with the salt, pepper, and chopped parsley; then add the diced pork and mix.  Refrigerate covered for 1 hour; remove and put through the sausage grinder.  Make patties or cook as small chunks in any recipe that incorporates Italian sausage.

Note:  I'm not partial to sausage links since I don't like the casing, so I just use the bulk sausage in pasta recipes or sauce.

Cranmore Summer Concerts

If you happen to be traveling to North Conway and plan to stay at The Buttonwood Inn, you may want to take in a concert on a Thursday or Friday evening at Cranmore Mountain Resort during their Summer Concert series in July and August.  Cranmore is located about 1 mile down Kearsarge Road from the inn.

This Friday, July 23, you can see "Assembly of Dust" with special guest "The Brew"--doors open at 5:00 pm and music is from 6:00-10:00 pm.

Tickets are $19 in advance or $25 at the door--purchase by phone at 1-800-706-0432 ext. 230 or on-line at

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wednesdays at Wildcat

From July 7 through August 25 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Wildcat is hosting free, except for the cost of a gondola ride on some outdoor excursions, with a naturalist from Tin Mountain Conservation Center.  You will learn about the flora and fauna (including moose) of the alpine environment in the Presidential Range.

All you need to do is show up at the Wildcat Ski Lodge around 9:45 am to join in on this educational and fun activity.